Overall, citywide data suggest Detroit is continuing to experience decline that makes it worse off than it was in 2000 or even 2010 in the depths of the national recession. Population, employment and incomes continue to decrease, while vacancies and poverty have increased.In 2013 Detroit filed for bankruptcy--it was America's largest municipal bankruptcy.
Real progress has occurred in recent years in the Downtown/Midtown core, which runs along Woodward Avenue for almost 4 miles and covers an area of just over seven square miles. In addition to corporate and government offices, it includes the Detroit Medical Center, Wayne State University, sports and entertainment venues, and the city's major cultural institutions. Recent developments include restaurants, specialty retail and multifamily housing.
Downtown/Midtown covers only 5% of Detroit's 140 square miles, and its population of 26,000 is a tiny fraction of the 3.6 million residents of the metro area, 80% of whom live in the suburbs. Improvements in Downtown/Midtown have been insufficient to offset continued citywide negative trends. Less than half a mile from the GM Renaissance Center, the most visible marker of Detroit's downtown (motto: "Reflecting a new Detroit"), empty lots, weeds and dilapidated buildings prevail.
From my post at Da Tech Guy:
I walked its streets--the tragedy of Detroit